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Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development

Civic Engagement: the Key for Women’s Political Participation in Karak

Sunday, May 1, 2016

is report provides an evidence-based assessment interventions enhancing women’s leadership and civic engagement in the governorate of Karak that can contribute to enhance women’s meaningful political participation at the governorate and municipality level. The research sheds light into the contours of women’s political participation in Karak that goes beyond formal politics. Our work shows that there is a solid base of active and engaged women in community based organizations (CBOs) who are deeply engaged in everyday politics, working to make a difference within their communities. In many cases they are starting o where formal politics stops or simply cannot address precisely because they are community based. e sort of activities that these women are participating in encourages the idea that what they are doing is not just charitable work but a demonstration of their political participation. Our findings support theoretical notions that consider civic engagement as a form of political participation, where the formal space of politics is compromised by structural defciencies. Based of the differences in lived experience and knowledge of the women involved in the “EadB’ead” project we determine that there are three types of women engaged in Karak: those engaged and willing to participate in formal politics; women focused on the community sphere; and those engaged but unsure of how to take action. Importantly the existence of these engaged and active women does not however indicate a generalized situation of civic engagement. Indeed, there remains barriers for some women to leave the house and make decisions for herself. Because of these differences in experience and level of engagement our research indicates that to encourage further political participation of women in Karak a number of steps must be taken. is includes support for already empowered female voices in the community, deeper engagement with those women willing to engage and a broader campaign to raise awareness about the issue of women’s rights as well as equality. In short it is an effort to engage people where they are at; and, importantly, involve the community throughout all the process.

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